John Aiello is taking off.
The rising senior at Germantown Academy has only spent a few days this summer in his Lansdale home. Baseball has him going hotel to hotel, airport to airport, preparing to play the next showcase game.
One of the biggest opportunities of the summer comes Sunday when Aiello plays at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.
The 6-2, 200 pound switch-hitting shortstop has visited the corners of the country. From Long Island to Long Beach, next is San Diego and it does not stop there. Aiello would not want it any other way. The chance to play with and against the best high school baseball players in the country is quite the blessing.
"I just want to play hard and have fun,' Aiello said from the Area Code Baseball Games in Long Beach, California. "I am in San Diego for four days. One day we all go to the beach, we scrimmage at University of San Diego, then Sunday is the game. I am so thankful to be blessed with people around me to help get me where I am.'
With his commitment to Wake Forest secured, Aiello sees no reason to stop working hard and impressing coaches and scouts every time he goes to work between the white lines. You just never know who is watching. More than the Petco Park capacity will be watching Sunday — the game will air on MLB Network TV and Radio.
"I am very excited for the game on Sunday,' Aiello said. "I was there last year watching the game. (Willy Burger of Lancaster Catholic) both said we wanted to make it, so it's pretty cool to playing with him.'
Working hard to Aiello does not mean just every time he steps into a batter's box. It means in the gym, or in his hectic case, hotel room or random location. It is all about doing what it takes to be the best possible player he can be. The same could be said about Aiello in the class room, where he is sees the importance of his studies.
"GA is an amazing school, with awesome academics,' Aiello said. "I am excited for my senior year. I am going to work hard in school and have fun.'
Aiello is looking forward to his senior season. Before he knows it, he could be back on the showcase scene, displaying the skills that could make his a very high draft pick in the June 2015 First Year Player Draft. Then the decision between Winston-Salem, North Carolina — home of Wake Forest — and Low-A ball with some professional organization will have to be made.
"I have not thought about being drafted that much,' Aiello said. "My goal is to play professional baseball, but I try to take it one game at a time and work hard. That's all you can do.'
Luckily Aiello has a strong support system behind him, starting with his father, who was his coach coming up through the Montgomery Township programs before he moved onto AAU travel ball with the Tri-State Arsenal. He has his boarding pass and license out, headphones on his head, ready to enjoy all the future flights.
"The only thing I control is how hard I play and let the results take care of themselves,' Aiello said. "This is the most traveling I have done. My father still throws me BP and hits me ground balls when I am home.'
Follow Andrew Marcus on Twitter @amarcus515.